Owning your own business is both a blessing and a curse. Counting your blessings is a great way to get to sleep at night, and the blessings you may count are many. I count the freedom of being my own boss, the end of the 9 to 5 mentality, and the chance to monetorise my ideas as just a few. The curse is sustaining the dream of my own business, which can literally keep me awake at night. What I recently realised (whilst lying awake in the wee small hours of the morning) is that I often spent time working out the practicalities of solving my current anxiety. Once I realised that, it became easier to remember that there was a solution, and it became easier to fall back into sleep.
These are the top 5 worries which may keep you awake, and my ideas to help you get back to sleep.
Will this sell?
Whatever the product you are selling, you have to believe in it. You developed this product or service to bring something new to the market. You knew when you started it was something your market needed. But get too close to it and it’s hard to see the unique benefits now. If you have doubts, and those doubts are keeping you awake; take a step back, and remember where you got the original idea from. Go back to basics and view the product in its simplest form.
How do I beat the competition?
It’s a crowded market place, and sometimes it seems like competitors are popping up everywhere, all of them shouting louder than you are that they are the best. Remember that actions speak louder than words, you don’t need to shout the loudest, you simply need to provide the best service you can, and make your customer feel that you genuinely care about them.
Where is the next customer coming from?
It’s all very well providing the best customer service in the business, but what if the customers are not coming to you? That is something to keep you awake at night! Statistics tell us, reach 100 people and you will convert a percentage of them into customers. One or two may buy immediately, but many need to hear from you more than once. Remember that and keep following up with people. Get back in touch with existing customers, too. They already know you and like you.
What if I’m not good enough?
Another thing about existing customers, they can become your best advert when they recommend you to others. On the other hand there can be that customer from hell who is demanding and unreasonable, but we secretly feel can damage our reputation. Somehow we always place more weight on what that customer thinks than on the ten others who give glowing recommendations. If you have a customer like that, he really is not worth losing sleep over.
How am I going to pay the bills?
This is the biggy! And it comes down to one simple fact; if you had a salary, you would get a big injection of cash at the end of the month. BUT most of that cash would stay in your bank account for about 6 hours until the direct debits came off to pay rent, utilities, health insurance and other essentials. As a business owner, you work, and you get paid; hour by hour, or customer by customer, all through the month. Because there is no lump sum salary, you keep working, another hour, another customer. It can be scary, sometimes, but there is a massive benefit, you determine how much you earn. There are two simple steps to take:
- Make a budget and stick to it
- Always chase up people who owe you money.
So these are my top five possible worries and possible solutions for every small business owner. Do you have another you would like to add?